Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

The hubs and I were lucky enough to be able to head home for Thanksgiving this year and I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful this trip was! It was just what we needed to relax and take our minds off the stress of UPT and upcoming drop and graduation. We got to eat some amazing food courtesy of my mother-in-law's wonderful cooking and some of our favorite restaurants that are only available below the Mason Dixon Line (AKA lots and lots of Zaxby's) ;) Here are a few photos from our trip. I hope everyone had just as wonderful of a holiday as we did and you were all able to spend it with those you love most! 

Thanksgiving Day with some of
my favorite ladies. So blessed to be
a part of this amazing family now!

Little Winston before we left Texas..he
enjoyed the peace and quite
of home while we were away.

Before the GA-GT game

Fun day in Athens! Most fun I'm sure
the hubs has had all year ;) We even got to
see UGA, the mascot.

The boys went and visited the GA Sports
Hall of Fame!

Love this man and the wonderful adventures we have!
That's all for now! We will be heading home again here in a few weeks for Christmas and can't wait to soak up some more time with our family and friends!
The Etheridges

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Backing Away from The Edge

Well, here we are, less than 2 months until drop night. Less than 8 weeks away from finding out our next big assignment and what the hubs could potentially be flying for most of his career. This is scary. This is stressful. I could lie and say that I have been the picture of grace and perfect composure this past week or so, but that would be a serious serious lie. I could lie and say that I have complete faith in God, that he will place us where we need to be, despite what OUR desires, wishes, and wants are. However, that would be a lie to. I feel as if we are on the edge of a cliff and the instinct to slowly back away is consuming me instead of having faith and trusting in my savior and taking the leap. That is something I am still struggling with, hence this post.

Why is it so hard to place faith in our Lord, take the plunge off the cliff, give it all to him, and know that he has an amazing and awe-inspiring plan for our lives? Why is it so hard to just LET GO and give up everything to him? Because it's scary, that's why. Because it means giving up what WE want for our lives, giving up our personal, selfish, desires for what we know he has planned for our life. That's scary. That's stressful. But in all honesty, it's not. It should be comforting and exciting. We should bask in the fact that we have no control over our lives and what ultimately happens when it comes to our careers, love life, family, and just our day to day living. At the end of the day HE is in control, HE knows what's best for us. Isn't that amazing!

Why then is it our human nature to fear that? To be so scared of giving up what we feel is control, when in reality it's nothing more than a false sense of control over something we can do nothing about. These, and many other, similar questions have been racing through my mind this week.

This past Sunday I looked at my calendar and had one of those "oh crap" moments where I realized that in exactly 2 months and 6 hours we will be finding out what happens next. Where we will be planted for the next 3-4 years, what type of pilot the hubs may be for the rest, or most, of his career. Everything that he's worked for and labored over for the past 5+ years comes down to that one night, to those 5 or so minutes that he stands in front of 100+ fellow student pilots, their significant others, and instructors and finds out what he has been "given" and what they feel he deserves. That's scary to me. I know what WE want, and I know what he has worked SO hard for. What if what WE want doesn't happen? What if what we have both desired and worked so hard for doesn't come to fruition? What if his hard work just doesn't pay off in the way WE want it to? Those are the thoughts that have consumed my mind and my heart, replacing my faith in God as of late.

But the big thing I notice, as I look back over these thoughts and scenarios as they have been running through my mind, is that all of those questions have the word "we" in it, not "God". I've become so consumed with what I want for my husband, what WE want as a couple, that I have put God on the back burner. It has been a constant prayer for me this week, as some of my sweet close friends will attest, that God lays peace and understanding on my heart. That he gives me a peace that surpasses all understanding and feeling of calm as I know that this entire scenario is out of my hands. I pray that he blesses us in ways that we cannot even imagine, as he already has, as I know deep down he will.

This is one of those times in my life where it has become so easy to forget all the things we should be thankful for, to forget the many blessings he has already bestowed on us. We have had a rough past two years, between my sweet mother passing away and with the stress of pilot training. But through it all HE has been a rock, God has been there with us, on the good and bad days. Looking into the future terrifies me and I know it shouldn't. I know HE has awesome plans for us, whether that means staying here in Del Rio for 4 or so more years, heading to a fighter, or heading off to some unknown aircraft we have never even heard of.

In my bible study we have often talked about how God will place us in the midst of a struggle in order for us to fall to him and come to him for comfort and help. It can be said that without trials and tribulation we may never come to God for help and feel as if we do not need him at all. I can honestly say that this is one of those seasons for me in my faith. This is a time for me to sow, not reap. To sit before the Lord and revel in his majesty and learn that his will is what is commanded of my life and know that he has control. It is my place now to have faith and to fall before him and grow during this time of need in my faith and life.

As my readers I ask you to please pray for all of these things for our little family as we head into these next few weeks. That we will have peace and understanding in the midst of all we are experiencing. A lot of things will be decided for us and I pray for peace and understanding as I see all of our hard work come to fruition. Thanks for bearing with me in this post. I know it's not generally the subject matter I choose to write about but I felt that I needed to bear my soul a little. God has some amazing things in store for us, I just know it. It's getting to that point of knowing it's going to be ok though that is often the biggest struggle.

Love this man..I couldn't be more proud of him!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October Happenings

Well, in order to catch everyone up on the month of October I've got a photo dump to bestow on all of you! With school and work most of my free time has been consumed with catching up on our favorite TV shows and sleeeeeeping! I sure do love my sleep, so when it comes to choosing between blogging or taking a quick nap the obvious choice is to sneak in a few more ZZZ's ;)

Anyways, October was a pretty fun and eventful month for us. We started it out with a trip up to the big city (San Antonio) to see one of my best friends who just recently moved to the great state of Texas. It was so great catching up and getting some delicious food at famous Guenther House in downtown SA. Not only am I blessed to have this lovely lady in my life but I can truly say that she is one of those special friends that even if you don't talk for a few days/weeks/months we can always just pick right back up where we left off. She has been such an amazing companion, through thick and thin, and I'm so glad she is close enough for monthly visits now :)

Love this girl

It was actually chilly in SA, unlike good ole Del Rio ;)
On another note, we also have a new family member! We adopted an 8 week old kitten a few weeks ago and she has been the perfect little addition to the Etheridge clan. Not only is she spunky but she holds her own with little Winston. We are still trying to figure out a name for her. As most of you know the previous cat we had never really was dubbed with one of those fancy things we call a name either. We prefer to just call our feline companions "kitten"...

She loves to play in the laundry hamper...only dirty clothes
will do for a playground!

She spends 1/2 her time snoozing away...like her mamma ;)
We also hosted a halloween get together for Mitchell's classmates the weekend before Halloween! We had everyone bring over their favorite chili recipe, along with Mitchell's mom's favorite chili which is a tradition in the Etheridge household for Halloween nights, and had some good homemade chili and a pumpkin carving contest. I think everyone had a pretty good time and more than stuffed themselves on the delicious chili we all got to taste...

The obvious winner!

And runner up!
Little Winston also helped us hand out candy on Halloween as we watched the cute little ones walk around base ;)

The hubs and I also visited a local pumpkin patch of sorts. It's really a gorgeous old church downtown that has pumpkins imported from Mexico each year and sells them for charity! Even though it wasn't a "real" pumpkin patch it was still fun getting to experience our first pumpkin picking as a married couple ;) For those of you that don't remember, the hubs was away at training (IFS) last year and we had to spend my favorite holiday apart! The only thing we missed this year was hanging out with the rest of the Etheridge clan back in GA and handing out candy and eating chili with the rest of the family! Other than that we had a wonderful Halloween with our little family here in Del Rio.

Del Rio "Pumpkin Patch"
On a final note I also made some treats (found here) for the hub's flight! These cute little owls were so easy to make and have been all over Pintrest for ages. I finally had an excuse to make some and am so glad I did...

For those of you wondering about other daily things, such as Mitchell's flying and my school, we are still both puttering away day by day. The hubs finishes up training here in a few months (which I can't believe) and I am done with school in 4 WEEKS (YIPPEE)! I'm just a little excited if you couldn't tell! Please keep both of us in our prayers as we head into the last few weeks before we find out our next assignment! It's a very exciting, nerve racking, fun, and stressful time for sure!

The Etheridges